Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

I am a little sad to be writing this because we have had such a wonderful trip to Canada and America.

One last trip north on the I35 to Minneapolis airport where we will drop off our trusty steed after a mammoth round trip arriving in Chicago, Illinois, Minneapolis in Minnesota through North Dakota, Saskatchewan, back through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota, touching on Wyoming, then back through Minnesota and onto Chicago before returning to Manchester in the UK.

This journey has seen us encounter many happy moments which we will treasure, and unfortunately a very sad loss  in the family.  The former we will bore our grandchildren with one day when we will incessantly repeat ourselves without ever realising we have told the story just last visit – the latter we will strive to find peace with, whilst supporting our amazing family along the way.

Life is a journey which we cannot predict – therefore we continue with my motto – Living, and Loving, Life….


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Car filled with gasoline and us with our final Tim Horton breakfast. Heading out south west of Saskatoon to our next stop tonight in Fort Peck, Montana, USA.

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Tastes the same in Canada as the rest of the world – unless you have at least a double shot of espresso it is bland, bland, bland!

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From one trusty steed…

trotting at the Saskatoon track – I would have loved to have been able to watch them race.

To another….

this one may not have been as exciting but it did take us across two US states and hopefully all the way back through another 3 states to the airport on Saturday.

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A loved one grieves for the imminent loss of her mother,
How can I convey all my sadness and regret to them,
At this time of greatest need?
Dear Jo, you are much loved and will be sorely missed,
Just know that we will take care of your little girl.
Love from me.

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The temperature has dropped to 35 degrees farenheit this sunny Saskatoon morning. This is quite a change from 77 degrees yesterday and in the late 80’s over the weekend.
I’m not complaining because the sun is bright and I am in the best possible company – my hubby.
Off to breakfast – catch up later :-).

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It is 7am in Saskatoon and our final day with the family before we head off on the road-trip back to Minneapolis.  A final opportunity to enjoy a Canadian breakfast and fill a few more bags with requested items from certain family members.  I believe that overweight luggage may be just one of the problems we encounter this afternoon when we start to pack up our ever expanding collection – it is a good thing they don’t weigh us – we may be in for a shock!

Any final requests before we head to the shops?


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After a wonderful meal of turkey, ham, potatoes, veggies and pudding, I am as round as the turkey before carving.
A lovely meal spent with the Canadian family – and a great precursor to our Christmas dinner later in the year.
I had better try to loose some of this new flotation device first!

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A happy thanksgiving from Canada, to all my family and friends all over the world.
We started the day with some lovely homemade scones, jam and cream (sorry England family) and are now busy preparing the turkey and all the trimmings ready for the rest of the guests. Our niece made a special table centrepiece at school….

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and a few words….

Elk enjoying the picnic facilities?

Apart from seeing a brown bear, elk, squirrels and birds, we also saw many white tailed deer…at least they were happy to pose for the camera; unlike the camera shy bear….

Driving through the forest roads we came across lots of beaver activity; although you never see the as they are nocturnal – he must have been really busy because he seems to have left his watch behind – or was it for scale?

Off on the ‘Red Deer’ trail through the forest and out along the lake towards the town of Waskesiu….

Hubby enjoying the view from the shoreline….

Beautiful tranquil beaches next to the lake and we had very few other people to share it with because it can snow at this time of year – last October they had inches of snow already….

Two brothers and son/nephew enjoying a walk on the beach at Lake Waskesiu…

The jetty at Waskesiu….

Long shadows at the end of the day….

Late afternoon and headed back to the campsite for a much deserved steak bbq – mmmm.

Relaxing in the camp ground with a lovely big fire – helps keep away the mosquitos and midges.

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After a wonderful weekend camping in the near north, we have packed up the Airstream, hitched up the car, dumped the waste and headed back towards Saskatoon. We have been introduced to two brothers who have an hilarious show on the radio. The podcasts were downloaded and I am loving this duo – a must listen to at www.cartalk.com or on iTunes.

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Barista bliss….

Any coffee lover worth their salt should be able to find a great coffee anywhere in the world – I believe we outdid ourselves when we discovered this artistic barista in Waskesiu – the northern town with more elk than humans at this time of year.  You can visit them at Evergreen.
What a way to end a two mile walk along the lake.

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Taking a dip in my k-2 in Lake Waskesiu. The water was brilliantly clear and cool.

I got some really strange looks from the other tourists – who would have thought!

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Bare bum – sorry, bear bum…

We saw a brown bear on our drive today. Before we could get any pictures it disappeared with a flash of it’s bum, into the forest.  If you really use your imagination you should be able to make out it’s paw prints in the sand…

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If the ice could move this 80 km from the north, I should be able to move it a fraction with my k-2…

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Just about three hours north of Saskatoon and we have arrived at the campsite in Waskesiu. We are the only people in the place and it is incredibly peaceful. The boys have chopped

wood and now it is time to sit back and relax, relax, relax.
The only thing missing is the bad guitar player who thinks they are obliged to entertain you – NOT!

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Tool-belt to die for….

Our first sighting of a RCMP was not on horseback with a husky chasing down a dangerous criminal – rather a lady version in the coffee roastery – I cannot say whether she ordered a donut though!
If, like me, you love a good tool belt then this was a very impressive version – enough gadgets to definitely drown you if you happened to dive into a river to rescue someone stupid enough to walk on the iced over river. This was just the back view-the front was equally laden….

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Birthday bash…

Good morning and welcome me to the 48th year of life. I am actually 7 hours younger than I would have been had I celebrated my birthday in England! The quandary is whether I gain it all back next week on the flight over the Atlantic?
One for the scientific and philosophy minds to ponder – way to complex for my now more mature brain.
How to celebrate the special occasion before we head off north? I know, how about breakfast at the local coffee roastery? Okay, you have twisted my arm. One large mug of coffee and cinnamon bun later and I am set to go….

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Another old country classic but very apt under the circumstances – the parcel arrived today from Trekinetic in England.  Very nicely assembled and packaged with the photographic instructions for installation.

Hubby managed without a problem to get the damaged piece out and I am back up and running almost like new.  Not perfect yet because they also managed to bend the one brake lever so I only have one brake unless I maintain pressure all the time – a bit hazardous when heading down a river bank and a pesky mosquito start to circle!  Should be great fun at the lake this weekend…

Evidence for the insurance claim….

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Bison or not – don’t mess with this mamma!

I can tell you that even stuffed this creature is intimidating – if it had blinked or moved, I would definitely no longer be here because I would have died of fright!

A wonderful day out at Wanuskewin and the exercise in the sunshine was very welcome.


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Feeling a little guilty about all the food we have allowed past our low-carb diet doorway, we decided that today was a great day to head off to see the First Nation (Indian) heritage site.  When our family told us about this place we really did think they had said 1sk1 – it turned out that it was Wanuskewin!  No wonder we couldn’t find it on the map.

We went on the more accessible trail and it was fun and games whenever we went down a steep incline because the K-2 is awaiting some repairs following the crushing it received in the hold of the aircraft.  Because the shock absorber is bent, we cannot lower the back and I was in imminent danger of tipping out onto the trail – funny for everyone else but a little embarrassing for me!

What a brilliant place; just outside the city but it feels like your are truly in the wilderness – and we had the place all to ourselves.  Hubby was required to give me a lot of help on the way up but he got his reward in the end!

At the bottom of the hill before heading up, up, up…

It may not look like K2 (not the chair, the mountain) from here, but it certainly felt like it on the way up….

Recovery position…..

The reward…..

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I believe there is a theme running through this holiday blog – food!
This morning we have started the day at our favourite breakfast spot – Grainfields. According to this place you can have a light breakfast which only consists of 2 eggs, 2 sausages or bacon, toast and fruit! Light! That is definitely not what we are after a week….

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Lunch today consisted of a bowl of Garrett’s incredible popcorn –  left over from our trip from Minneapolis – and a cup of tea and mini donuts from Tim Horton’s!  I think I am on the road to finding the 1 stone I lost before the holiday –  I may lose a little weight but it doesn’t stay lost for long!

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After our trip to Moscow, I was challenged by the family to get a picture of a McDonald’s coffee in every country we visited.  I failed on our trip through Dakota but will remember to get a photo on our return journey to Minneapolis.

Canadian McDonald’s has the addition of the maple leaf but this doesn’t improve the brew – it is seriously bad coffee and I am relieved that I have completed the requirement and I don’t have to go back!  Tim Horton’s or Starbucks from now on….

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For my family – sorry, that you couldn’t be here but I did my best to do you proud – the steak, kebabs and ribs were superb.   Dad managed to fit a bit of salad on his plate and washed it all down with a few glasses of good Chateauneuf du Pape.

Wish you were here….

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A day in pictures….

You have to love a place that makes such a friendly water tower….

Every town seems to have one – a very large grain silo which doubles as a town marker….

Tilting at windmills….

Heading west on the I94…..

Farm storage silos – we passed hundreds of them….

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I am a real believer in ensuring you leave your mark in life….

Michele was here!  Stopped at a rest area in very rural Saskatchewan.

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A funny thing happened on the way to the border – driving along towards Portal, North Dakota, at the end of the day we noticed some numbers on the hills above a farm.  At first I thought it was an enthusiastic person commemorating important family dates but as we continued to drive along we realised that more and more hills were numbered!  I am definitely going to have to investigate this odd occurrence – do you think they number them in case they get misplaced?

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These guys are phenomenal – I contacted Mike at Trekinetic on Sunday night from Canada and when I woke up this morning, not only had he responded, but also had put together the quote for the airlines and arranged for the spare parts to be sent out to me in Saskatoon!  Service par excellence.
With any luck and a few prayers, Canadian customs won’t feel obliged to keep my parcel and it should be here by Thursday ready for us to go up to the lakes in the north for a spot of fishing.  Mmmm, did I ever tell you that I was allergic to all fish and seafood!  The irony of it is that being a Durban born girl, I am a natural fisherman.
Oh well, I will just have to let the boys do the baiting and retrieving on my behalf; and while they are enjoying bbq fish, I will munch on a big fat piece of steak – what a chore 🙂

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House envy!

You have got to love the Canadian and Americans style for great housing.  We arrived at the family in Saskatoon early on Sunday afternoon and after catching up on everyone’s most pressing news, we brought in our luggage and got settled into our suite for the next few weeks.  Unlike the UK, the houses here are all built with a basement and this one is the same size as the house above.  We therefore have an enormous bedroom, a lounge that is bigger than mine at home, an office and a lovely big bathroom – all to ourselves!

I should also mention that it has a workshop and boiler room that my hubby is very envious of and started telling me about what amazing projects he could do if he had this space at home – I think we had better look into this style of house on our return!

The best thing of all is that I can get through and around the entire place in my wheelchair – definitely love this place!

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